What Is an RPM File?

How to Open, Edit, and Convert RPM Files

RPM Files
RPM Files.

A file with the RPM file extension is a Red Hat Package Manager file that's used to store installation packages on Linux operating systems.

RPM files provide an easy way for software to be distributed, installed, upgraded, and removed since the files are "packaged" in one place.

Completely unrelated to what Linux uses them for, RPM files are also used as RealPlayer Plug-in files by the RealPlayer software to add additional features to the program.

Note: The RPM acronym might have nothing at all to do with computer files. For example, it also stands for revolutions per minute, a frequency rotation measurement.

How to Open an RPM File

It's important to realize that RPM files cannot be used on Windows computers like they can on the Linux operating system. However, since they're just archives, any popular compression/decompression program like 7-Zip or PeaZip can open an RPM file to reveal the files inside.

Linux users can open RPM files with the package management system called RPM Package Manager. Use this command, where "file.rpm" is the name of the RPM file you want to install:

rpm -i file.rpm

In the previous command, "-i" means to install the RPM file, so you can replace it with "-U" to perform an upgrade. This command will install the RPM file and remove any previous versions of the same package:

rpm -U file.rpm

Visit RPM.org and Linux Foundation for a lot more information on using RPM files.

If your RPM file is a RealPlayer Plug-in file, the RealPlayer program should be able to open it.

Note: RMP files are spelled almost identical to RPM files, and they just so happen to be RealPlayer Metadata Package files, which means you can open both RPM and RMP files in RealPlayer.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the RPM file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open RPM files, see my How to Change the Default Program for a Specific File Extension guide for making that change in Windows.

How to Convert an RPM File

Commands that invoke the Linux Alien software can be used to convert RPM to DEB. The following commands will install Alien and then use it to convert the file to a DEB file:

apt-get install alien
alien -d file.rpm

You can replace "-d" with "-i" to convert the package and then immediately start the install.

AnyToISO is able to convert RPM to the ISO format.

If you want to convert RPM to TAR, TBZ, ZIP, BZ2, 7Z, or some other archive format, you can use FileZigZag. You have to upload the RPM file to that website before you're able to have it converted, which means you then have to download the converted file back to your computer before you can use it.

To convert RPM to MP3, MP4, or some other non-archive format like that, your best bet is to just manually extract the files from the RPM. You can do that with a decompression program like I mentioned above. Then, once you've taken the MP3, etc. out of the RPM file, just use a free file converter on those files.

Note: Even though it has nothing to do with the file extensions mentioned on this page, you can also convert revolutions per minute into other measurements like hertz and radians per second.

More Help With RPM Files

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more.

Let me know what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the RPM file and I'll see what I can do to help.